Repairs in Privately Rented Properties
The property must be dry, safe and structurally stable. It must have adequate heating, drainage, lighting, ventilation, toilet and bathing facilities. It should meet minimum health and safety standards.
The landlord is responsible for repairs to the structure of the building: the roof, windows, doors, drains, gutters, baths, sinks, toilets, heating, hot water, damp and general building repairs.
The tenant must do minor jobs, like replacing fuses, or clearing a blocked sink. They must also repair damage that they or their visitors have caused. Tenants are usually responsible for internal painting and decorating (unless otherwise stated on your tenancy agreement). Tenants should dispose of household rubbish including old furniture etc. Tenants should contact the landlord if you have a problem with your property. It is also the responsibility of the tenant to ensure the rent is paid (rent should not be withheld just because your landlord has not done repairs).
What To Do If your Property Is In Disrepair
If the property you live in is in a poor condition you should first contact your landlord or managing agent and ask them to have the repairs/works carried out to the property. Their contact details should be on your tenancy agreement. If you have had difficulties with them before then this contact should be in writing.
If your landlord or managing agent has not contacted you after a reasonable time, say 14 days in the case of non-urgent works, then contact us. If you think the works are dangerous or urgent then contact us at the same time that you contact your landlord.
If they refuse to have any works carried out or have agreed to carry out the works but are dragging their heels in getting the work done then contact us.
When you contact us please have the following information ready:
- The tenant’s name, address and a contact number
- The landlord’s name, address and telephone number
- The date the landlord was last asked to carry out repairs
- Details of any arrears
What Happens Next?
By law we must write to the owner of the property to advise that we will be visiting to carry out an inspection. Although we will not say that you have made a complaint please bear in mind that it is often obvious how we became involved.
We will then contact you to arrange to visit and carry out an inspection of the property under The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
This system was introduced by The Housing Act 2004, as a risk assessment method to identify housing related hazards that could affect the health and safety of any potential occupier or visitor to a property.
There are 29 different hazards that are assessed and these include damp and mould growth, excess cold, falls on stairs, fire safety, electrical safety, food safety etc.
Following the Inspection
We will tell the landlord about problems we found during our inspection and ask them to carry out any necessary works. In the majority of cases we will first ask your landlord to carry out the works on an informal basis, giving times when the works should be finished. If your landlord does not do the works then the Council can serve a legal notice requiring repairs to be carried out within a set timescale. If the landlord does not comply with the notice then the Council may carry out the works and recover costs from the landlord.
Sometimes the assessed risk is so low that we cannot make the landlord carry out the works and in these cases we can only recommend that certain works be done.
If works are to be arranged at your property please try to co-operate fully with your landlord to allow access for contractors to carry out the work and keep your landlord up to date with your contact telephone numbers.
Housing Standards Team
Telephone: 01254 388 111